WAOB (AM)

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WAOB
City of license Millvale, Pennsylvania
Broadcast area Pittsburgh metropolitan area
Frequency 860 kHz
First air date 1948
Format Religious (Catholic)
Power 1,000 watts (Daytime)
830 watts (Nighttime)
Class B
Facility ID 60155
Callsign meaning We Are One Body
Owner St. Joseph Ministries

WAOB is a radio station that converted to a religious format in February 2010. The city of license for the station is Millvale, Pennsylvania. It had specialized in programming to Pittsburgh's African-American community. The station, which was owned by Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation, broadcasts at 860 kHz with a power level of 1,000 watts.

History[edit]

The station signed on in 1948 as WHOD, licensed then to Homestead, before changing its call letters to WAMO in 1956 (the AMO referred to the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers). WAMO served the area's African-American community for the following 50 years, although the Urban contemporary format it started with eventually went to WAMO-FM, it's FM sister station.

It was also a daytimer until the 1990s when its signal was upgraded, and its city of license was changed from Pittsburgh to Millvale. For a time during the 1990s, the station bounced back between the call letters WYJZ and WAMO.

What put WAMO on the map, though, was in the 1950s, when WAMO disc jockey Craig "Porky" Chedwick, started playing a variety of what then came to be known as "the first oldies", scouring record bins for lost R&B recordings, building up a library for such material and creating through his show what came to be later known as "Pittsburgh's Oldies", a show and style later imitated by many DJs in Pittsburgh, as well as across the country. Many credit Chedwick with being the father of "Oldies" radio.

On January 31, 2006 WAMO inked a deal with Radio One to pick up its Urban Talk format. The change took place on February 27, 2006. This format did not last long, and on August 28, 2006, the station returned to a music format it described as "R&B and classic soul," retaining the Steve Harvey and Bev Smith programs in mornings and late-nights, respectively.

Final logo for WAMO-AM, used until 2009.

On May 15, 2009, Sheridan announced the sale of WAMO-AM, WAMO-FM and WPGR-AM to St. Joseph Missions for 9 Million dollars. When the deal is approved by the FCC, the stations will all flip to a religious format. All 35 employees will be let go after the sale closes, leaving Pittsburgh without an Urban formatted outlet.[1][2]

On September 8, 2009, WAMO-AM and its FM sister station signed off the air, ending a 61-year legacy of serving Pittsburgh's African-American community. The call letters were changed to WAOB and returned to the air in February 2010, with the aforementioned non-commercial religious outlet.

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Coordinates: 40°29′27″N 79°58′55″W / 40.49083°N 79.98194°W / 40.49083; -79.98194